A lady called Katie Hopkins had an article published in the Sun Newspaper on Friday 17th April 2015, titled:
I’d use gunships to stop migrants”.
And it is upsetting a lot of people.
But in defence of this Katie, (and this is probably not a view you’ll read anywhere else) I think people are jumping on the bandwagon a bit. Yes she’s coming across as racist and xenophobic and slightly unhinged, and probably not someone you’d want your children to meet, or see, or know about the existence of. But she’s a journalist at the end of the day, she’s done her homework, and she’s written an article based on that. She’s executing her right to freedom of speech.
Maybe the extensive time she has spent in Northern Africa getting to know the desperate people escaping war, violence, and poverty has helped her formulate her thoughts. Talking to the people willing to risk their lives and the lives of their families at great expense, to pay to take that treacherous journey has shaped her thinking. Maybe she even spent some time on one of the actual ships to get a real feel for the danger of it all. And maybe she has camped out in Calais for a week or so interviewing and discussing global inequalities with the asylum seekers there before developing her opinions on their plight.
Perhaps all these people criticising her article should take the time to follow her investigative journalism approach before condemning her as a horrendous witch. Have any of her detractors stopped to think that her opinion and her writing is perhaps backed up by months of extensive experiential research?
If you’ve seen the article, (and I wouldn’t recommend reading it out loud, I’m pretty sure even whispering bits of it out across the table in a café is probably against the law in the UK, and would almost definitely get you arrested) then you’ll realise that it has been seen by a number of editors and sub-editors before making it’s way to the printing press, and then distributed in a national newspaper, so there must be some merit to it.
If for some reason you didn’t get chance to read the Sun on Friday, you will have missed the bit where she describes immigrants as:
“…a plague of feral humans”
Or where she says:
“NO, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.”
Or the bit where she insults the majority of Australians who are described as:
“…like British people but with balls of steel, can-do brains, tiny hearts and whacking great gunships.
Following up with a lovely image of:
“They (the tiny-hearted Australians) threaten them (the immigrants) with violence until they bugger off, throwing cans of Castlemaine in an Aussie version of sharia stoning.”
You can just imagine Katie here, laughing and joking, and scribbling notes as her and her Aussie deck mates launch tinnies at the Timorese!
You may remember meeting her if you live in one of the towns in the UK that she will have visited during her research that she describes as:
“…. festering sores, plagued by swarms of migrants and asylum seekers.”
And I’m sure Sir Bob Geldolf is regretting giving her an interview…
“Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit like “Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984”, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb.”
So whether you agree or not with her quite possibly illegal, but well-researched xenophobic rantings, you have to give her credit for getting to know the subject and subjects of her column, meeting with the people involved, spending time to understand a global situation, and writing an article based on fact and accurate information.
In fact I’d be interested to know if there is a follow up article planned, one where she perhaps shares this article in person with the people she met and lived with in North Africa and Calais and collects their opinions and reactions. I’m sure the Sun has enough cash in the coffers to achieve this.